Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior. It leads to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.
Some common symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Disorganized speech
- Disorganized or catatonic behavior
- Negative symptoms such as emotional flatness, apathy, and lack of speech
If any two of the above are present for 30 days, then it is known that the patient is diagnosed as having Schizophrenia.
Some of the diagnostic tests such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerized Tomography (CT) might be undertaken to see if there is a congenital defect in the structure of the brain.
At what age do symptoms of schizophrenia appear?
Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30. Men tend to experience symptoms earlier than women. Most of the time, people do not get schizophrenia after age 45.
Another important factor in getting Schizophrenia is genetic. If your first degree relatives (parents and siblings) do not have schizophrenia, including your second order relatives, then the chances of you getting schizophrenic are almost one percent.
Research shows it takes a combination of genetics and your environment to trigger the disease. Knowing what increases the chances can help you put together a better picture of your odds of getting schizophrenia.
Known cause(s) of getting schizophrenia is one that of a genetic defect while the environment also plays an important role in the development of this illness. Like most other diseases, it is a nature versus nurture debate. However, most factors point to the evidence provided by the biological paradigm that is genetic.
Environmentalists approach the type of circumstances in which the patient has been brought up. For example, if a man has opened his eyes in a hostile environment, such as parents fighting all the time, the effect of this hostile atmosphere might make him a schizophrenic around the age of 16-30 years.
There are chiefly 7 types of Schizophrenia:
- Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common form. Other forms include Hebephrenic, Catatonic, Undifferentiated, Residual, Simple, and Unspecified schizophrenia.
Medication is key, along with other types of care, such as CBT and CET which are a kind of talk therapy, and social skills training.
The exact and immediate answer that Schizophrenia is curable is a big NO. However, its symptoms can be mitigated with psychotherapy and atypical antipsychotics (Major Tranquilizers) as schizophrenics forget to take medication. There could be a possibility that the patient resists or is averse to take medication.
Common Atypical Antipsychotics
Quetiapine (Seroquel), Zyprexa and others. Their efficacy has been proven. However, the main mechanism of action remains unknown.
Some types of drugs known as mood stabilizers are used to keep the patient’s mood stable. The most known mood stabilizer has been Lithium Carbonate which has now been replaced by other mood stabilizers. Remember, all Anti-Epileptic Drugs are mood stabilizers such as Lamotrigine, Carbamazepine, and others.
Like all other patients, people suffering from Schizophrenia also need help and assistance. If you have a loved one who is schizophrenic, you can get help by contacting Holistic Healthcare (Pvt.) Limited at 03000 341 678 for a Free Consultation. Our healthcare provider will be happy to assist.